tv [untitled] May 2, 2012 8:30pm-9:00pm EDT
iron clad gun boats, if 20,000 guys doesn't do the job, they would have come back with 40,000. it would have happened. it would have postponed that, though. and this was a place to attack. this was the weak link in the line. and it was going to come here. so, long answer to your question, that's what i think -- it would have happened eventually -- >> there was already discussion in the north among some people about saying, let the south go at that point because they were so discouraged and there was no -- there was no win. >> yeah, could be. you know, with donelson, with with the success of donelson the way it happened, that kind of talk went away. if it happened with donelson was a failure, maybe. also, too, donelson is the first blow to the confederacies for gaining foreign recognition. could have been possible for the confederacy getting foreign recognition with successful defense of donelson and henry? we're getting a little gray area
here of, you know, what-ifs. >> it could have cost the presidential election. >> well, as they say in politics, too, if -- if you didn't hear, it could have cost the presidential election. it could be. but two years is an awful long time in politics. yes, sir. >> when henry fell, the navy took henry. the army hadn't got there yet. with belmont and with seeing columbus, shouldn't the navy have anticipated more elevation of their guns? >> yeah, probably. >> you know, because that was -- that was a major problem for them. >> yeah, it was. the gun boat design was interesting. the gun boats were designed for antiship operations. >> right. >> so, the guns have trouble elevating. >> right. >> yeah, they probably should have. but they didn't have much intelligence here at ft. henry or ft. donelson. they knew of their existence.
ft. donelson -- even today people have trouble spelling the name, for pete's sake. i still get ft. donaldson, i get e-mails like that. so, yeah, they probably -- in hindsight, they should have. but there's a couple things working on -- i'll counter that argument with the shooting -- of not being able to shoot high enough. on the river here, most of the shots were overshot. so, they were able to elevate. but what you have on the gun boats here, here at the time on floodwaters, very choppy, the boat's bouncing. looking down the hill at the guns, they look pretty big. i challenge -- not challenge, but i encourage any of you to walk guard to the gun line and walk back. it's a thin little line with a couple black dots. and if you're a couple hundred yards away and you got this big 46-pound cannon trying to hit that one little dot, pretty tough target. >> basically they were about a mile away, weren't they? >> at first.
then they closed in. like at ft. henry they closed in as close as they could, almost point blank. that's when the gun boats got in trouble. they were able to shoot down into the unprotected parts of the boat. okay. yes, sir. >> with the advent of the telegraph being used in war, didn't that lead to more micromanagement by politicians and generals -- >> the short question was, is with the advent of the telegraph, was there an increase in micromanagement? >> the question was, with the telegraph, was there an increase in micro management? certainly, that wouldn't happen. look what happened to e-mail. that never -- how many of you deal with e-mail, by the way, on a regular basis? happens all the time. yes, it did happen.
in fact, grant had problems with hallic. he's up in -- hallic's up in st. louis and he's telling grant while he's at ft. henry, do an run, take clarksville, and grant's looking at the map and he knows what's on the ground and he says, that's impossible but i do know what grant is able to say to himself is, i know the boss is getting impatient, he wants me to move. i need to cut the bridge at clarksville. in order to do that, i have so take ft. donelson. so, grant is being micromanaged but he's able to deal with it. part of that is because he's 500 miles away. don't you wish you had that with your boss? >> at the same time you also had feedback going to washington, where lincoln is sitting there and -- >> in this particular case, grant is insulated from that, to his betterment. grant is dealing directly with hallic. hallic is not letting any of that stuff from washington or anywhere else filter down.
hallic is in control of the communications. hallic discussing things with mcclelland, discussing things with beuhl, the war department. grant not part of that because hallic is looking at grant as a subordinate. you do my bidding, no more, no less. and he's dealing directly with grant. so, yes, it can be a possibility, a problem with micromanaging. but grant was able to correctly selectively ignore some things, but he got the tone of what hallic wanted out of that, so he was able to operate successfully. yes, sir. >> could you elaborate about columbus, belmont, how that impacted this area when the war came to ft. henry. >> sure. if you look at the map of confederate defenses in '61 and '62, the mississippi river had about seven major fortifications, starting at columbus working their way down
past memphis to vicksburg. there was about seven of them. and they're all fairly substantial works. if you get to columbus, kentucky, it's well worth the trip. if you see what they have built there and what's still around there, you see these walls that are 20, 30 feet high. they're 30 to 40 feet wide. they're massive construction. then you see the little chicken scratchings in the water battery at ft. donelson. you can see where the confederate majority of effort was. where they were concentrating was the mississippi river. they knew that's what the federals wanted -- they wanted to control the mississippi. so, they built fort on the mississippi river. for the tennessee river, you had ft. henry and hyman, across the river from each other. that's it. that's all they have. and ft. henry was built on a swamp. ft. hyman was uncomplete, on the kentucky side. ft. donelson was stronger, but even then it only -- 14 guns along the river.
columbus had dozens on the river. you could just see where they're focusing their effort. it wasn't here on the tennessee or cumberland river. it was on the mississippi. so, when -- to get to your question, as ft. henry in particular fell, that gave the ability of the union to come up the tennessee and swing over and get behind columbus, cut the rail line off. once that's done, whoever stuck up there in columbus is trapped. once ft. henry fell, been quickly apparent to the confederates, we need to pull our guys and big guns out of columbus or we're going to lose them. without a shot columbus falls and is objection occupied by a regiment infantry from the union side. >> wasn't much of a battle? >> wasn't a battle. zero.
they just pulled back. next is island ten on the tennessee line. and that -- that came a quick battle, too. iron-clads ran the batteries and then the union got behind -- union army got behind the fort. nothing there to stop them. so, ft. henry, ft. donelson set off that chain reaction as that columbus essentially fell because ft. henry did. just fell right behind it. yes, sir. i'm sorry. >> the location of ft. henry, was it not doomed from the way it was set up? >> it was doomed right off the bat. the location of ft. henry was set -- was built at kirkman's old landing. i don't know why they built it there. a number of gentlemen -- captain taylor was probably the most colorful. people found problems with it. the fort was started in the
summer of 1861 when the river was low. low water. and the fort did have a great field of fire. for three uninterrupted miles, you point a cannon, three miles. and that's pretty good. what they didn't take into account was the river floods. and captain taylor was an artilleryman that came out from nashville to teach the guys how to shoot the big guns. and during one of his afternoon walks, he's up above the hills around the fort. kind of noticing these mud rings up on the trees. he asks the local farmer, what the hell's this? that's mud rings from the floods. you got to be kidding me? kind of, okay, mud ring here. it's over the fort. the mud rings are -- you've got to be kidding. he's writing a report, to the state of tennessee, to the confederate engineer bureau, confederate army and guys come out and take a look at it and they say, well, too late. just keep building.
and that's really what happened. was there some bureaucratic deal, real estate deal on this? i don't know. did some senator's nephew own that land? i don't know. but from an engineering standpoint, what were you people thinking about? at the time of the battle, i think you're mostly familiar with it, the river was rising. the confederate gunners were standing in water, finding their guns. it was this close entering the powder magazine, which would have flooded the powder. if grant would have waited one more day, he wouldn't have had to fight ft. henry at all. it would have been under water. you know, that was the timing of it. so, commander at ft. henry at the time, he's looking at the army moving around his rear and he's looking at the gun boats. he's looking at the water and says, i'm out of here. he sends his guys to ft. donelson.
so, leaving behind the skeleton crew at of heavy batteries to hold off the union. yeah, i don't know how to explain why they chose that site. any site along that stretch of the river, go a mile up, mile south, any position would have been better than that one. even today if you go out there, since the dam was built in '33-'34, under tennessee valley authority, it's under about 20 feet of water. and i'm not sure there's much of anything left under it. the existing photos from 1932 had a picture of an old man. and the fort was -- the fort wall, fort north wall of ft. henry was probably about three originally 10 to 20 feet high. it's been eroded by that time. now being under water and the sediment and all that, i can't
imagine anything's left of it. unfortunately. it would be neat. sir, you had a question earlier. >> yeah. who was the overall commander again for that region? and did he catch -- >> north or south? >> south. and did he catch a lot of flack for not better -- having in-depth defense? >> yes. overall regional commander for south was albert sydney johnson, western department. yes, he did catch a lot of flack for it. albert sydney johnson was actually the second highest ranking confederate general in the army at that time. very distinguished career, indian fighter, been in regular army before the war. was department commander in the pacific right before the war and came across the prairie to fight in the civil war. he had a tough job. the south had a departmental system in their -- in how they worked things. johnson was responsible for raising armies, equipping them, dealing with all the governors, getting supplies from the governors. he was a military guy but also a politician. you know, he had to deal with
the politicians. hard, hard job. where the union had a far more streamlined central authority here. general johnson will catch heck for the failure of ft. henry, ft. donelson, and he's scrambling to recover from that, which leads to the battle of shiloh. he is forming the -- after ft. donelson, ft. henry fall, the new union army of tennessee will move to pittsburgh landing, south of here. general albert sidney johnson is collecting every force he can, bowling green, nashville, and this is his counterstrike. and that's where the battle of shiloh comes about. someone else? you already asked one. you already asked one, too. come on. >> when they made their breakout, there were a lot of other people that went along with him.
now, did they -- the different brigade generals say you want to go? >> it was a case by case basis. the question is when nathan bedford forest escapes, he takes his own command but what about the other guys that went with him? about 800 to 1200 guys went with forest. how'd that come about? the question is, was it -- well, i'll just say. it was a case by case basis. word got out that forest was going to make a run for it, break out. if you had a horse, like if you're an artilleryman and you had a horse, get on the dang horse and follow him. if you're on foot, that's kind of tricky. a lot of guys would have loved to have break out but they were on foot. they knew they had to cross the creek down there and then once they even got clear of ft. donelson, the fear was being overtaken by union cavalry. a lot of guys didn't make the big choice, bold choice to escape. it really came down to if you had a horse, got word there was
even a breakout, and if you wanted to or not. that's how it came down to. gants cavalry, a cavalry battalion under lieutenant gant didn't go with forest. they refused to go. he asked them to go, alerted them, didn't to want go. other guys were begging to go. so, it was really an absolute -- by that time it was an individual decision. some guys tried to cross the river, some guys tried to race through the lines. sneak through. and that's -- that's what makes head counting after the battle so tough because there's some guys that they were captured, put on the roll, but they had an opportunity, they just walked away. loose as a prisoner, but where the heck is he? so, record keeping was very lax on both sides during this campaign. which makes it kind of fun as a historian, but if you're looking for a definitive answer, there's sometimes i have to say, i don't know, because there's no definitive answer for that. >> even after prisoners they
walked away? >> one more time? >> after they had surrendered, some of them walked away? >> yes. absolutely. most famous case is brigadier general johnson, surrendered with his guys. he didn't sign any paperwork but he was within the lines. most of the guys are being put onto transport. a couple more boats left to go. captain, how about you and i, we'll go? that's what they did. they walk up the lines, found a couple horses and they split. they were gone. he paid a price for that, too. question? >> yes. first off, thank you for being here. i think your book is fabulous. the life of the common soldier. based upon your research that you've done, for a moment can we step back 150 years right now, february 11th, 4:00 in the afternoon, what's going on both sides? you said they're obviously
digging crazily, the southern troops are -- >> on the 11th it's pretty chaotic what's going on now. what you have -- it was reenacted today. bless the reenactors. they had a reenactment of the guys camped out at ft. henry and they made that march from ft. henry to ft. donelson, much like they did 150 -- 149 years, so many months and days -- a couple days. they made that march. god bless them. they made that march with the leather brogans and the nasty weather we had last night, and they went ahead and did that. back to your question. what's going on right here, 4:00 in the afternoon? chaotic. general tugman allowed himself to be captured at ft. henry. that was not his original plan, by the way. he was going -- he sent colonel hyman to ft. donelson. wrote back to ft. henry to check up on gunners about to open fire
on the federal gun boats and he got caught up in a battle. and he got all animated, you know, the combat does that. you got all excited. he was serving the guns with the rest of them. oops, you know, and he got surrendered. so, now we're -- the days after that, colonel hyman is here but he happens to be the ranking colonel of this whole confederate column. reminder, general togman not just commander at ft. henry, also ft. donelson, a combined command, he commanded both forts can and allowed himself to get captured there, leaving the rest of his garrison without a leader. i find a little fault with him on that. conduct was very heroic, very brave officer. i'll certainly not take that away from him but he got caught up in things and got captured with henry. bushrod johnson will be sent here -- that would have been yesterday, i believe. but that was very quickly overshadowed because general billow will be sent here and later -- it would be tomorrow, i believe, will be general floyd will show up, along with general buckner.
very chaotic going on here. what confederates are doing on the 11th is still recovering from the ft. henry ordeal and the long march and nasty road here. general gilmer should be here any time, major of engineers, and he'll start sketching out the what we now known as outer defenses. and that -- that might be happening right now. starting to dig tonight, how's that? digging party. >> wow. >> so, that's what's going on now. just comes to mind at this time, the big guns, the columbia down there, 100-pounder and the 6 1/2 inch rifle aren't even in operation yet. not even mounted. they're wanting for spare parts. both of those -- they did test fire the columbia a few weeks ago, but it blew -- bent the carriage it's on. the cast iron carriage, they needed some extra parts.
those are being forged in clarksville. the six inch rifle is missing a couple parts too. the six inch rifle about an hour before the gun boat fight will finally be in operation. the columbia the columbia is in operation by that time. but because of the damage done to the carriage, it can only traverse a little bit. so it can only fire in one direction. what they did with what they had was pretty remarkable. i think we're going to have time for one more? one more? okay. you're it. >> a little bird told me that -- was not what you had originally planned? >> i'm glad you asked. let me pay you off future that one. my publisher if he sees us is probably not going to be happy. the original title of my book was "were defeated valor lives." "were defeated valor lives". in the publishing world, when
you give a manuscript over, you lose a lot of control over what happens. and it was decided that that would be -- i'm trying to remember. this was ten years ago. a provocative and thought-provoking title, and that's what they wanted and insisted upon it. i had very few option. one to accept it or two, to find another publisher. i was younger and more ambitious so i said go ahead and publish it. thank you for the question. that was the original title of the book. and i actually do not make the point. there are so many different points in the war that you cannot say this is where it was lost. but i will make the point like i did earlier, this is the most decisive one. i challenge anyone to tell me a more decisive battle than this. and by golly, i'm real proud to be here to be part of the commemoration experiences here. and i'm so glad that you guys made the time and trouble to make it as well. god bless you all, folks, and
thanks for coming. an i'll pass it on to ranger dickerson. [ applause ] >> what an honor. what an honor to have you here, sir. thank you so very much. a few days after the battle, general grant wrote that the name ft. donelson will be forever spelled in capital letters across the maps of our nation. he and so many others recognized immediately how important this battle was in the timeline of the civil war. and this story, the fort henry/ft. donelson campaign has some of the most incredible stories associated with it. there are just thousands of stories. and it is such an honor and a pleasure to be able to share those stories and to preserve the resources here at the park. we here who work at ft. donelson, this is our home away from home. we just love being here.
but this park is yours. this belongs to you. so as much of an honor is it for us to be part of the civil this year, we thank you for making it possible. everything we do here at the park is because of your support. professor gott will be outside if you would like to say hello and have him sign your book. thank you all for being here as well. have a very peaceful and safe day. thank you for being here. [ applause ] bin laden was a strategically relevant communicator with various and disparate outfits. and to a certain extent i have to confess i had insider knowledge. i worked in u.s. centcom and in afghanistan. we knew bin laden personally was involved in communications to try to corral and bring under
control al zawahiri. we knew we was making outreach early on the al shabaab and somalia. we knew he was involved in all these types of things, working through mediums and other types of individuals. we knew he was there and doing that. and as a consequence, and no surprise when you're talking about a global ideology, binn -- bin laden was relevant. >> analysts and other community intelligence members continue to weigh. in see what they have to say online at the c-span video library, all archived and searchable. the civil war battle of shiloh took place april 6th and 7th, 1862 in hardin county, tennessee, and resulted in a union victory over confederate forces. american history tv visited shiloh national military park where chief ranger stacy allen took us behind the scenes to the park storage facility and showed us two rare civil war tents.
>> 1999, it all started in spring of 1999 it was brought to our attention at a new site in the park service, kane river location that a family long living at that area before the civil war had upon the retreat of nathaniel banks army during the red river campaign of 1864, spring of 1864, the united states army had left a large amount of baggage and equipage. and the family went out and recovered this. amongst it were two, two civil war tents. one of the tents was a sibley tent.
designed by henry hawkins sibley, bayed on a plains indian teepee pattern. the family had had these tents in their possession since recovering them. one of them is the oil tent, and this is the sibley tent. remarkably is it is now known there are only two sibley tents in the american civil war in exist nens the world, one in each hemisphere of mother earth. this one is in our hemisphere and in possession of the american people now. this tent in recent negotiations was smithsonian institute will be traveling to washington for potential display at the national african-american museum in a civil war exhibit above the african-american experience in the civil war.
so we're excited about that. this is a huge tent. we're talk:00 old canvas, old threads, stress points are weak, and they're going to be strained more with the exhibition. so we are making available the sibley on loan for the exhibit. it's going to be conserved so it's going to receive some much needed cleaning. we're excited it will be in front of the public for at least a temporary exhibit, maybe a year's time frame. and they'll be able to get some benefit from it. henry sibley got the patent for these in 1850s, the mid 1850s, first used in the utah division
used by albert sydney johnston in the united states army in 1856-1857 time frame through 1858. and overall it appears that roughly 44,000 of the tents produced. now, unfortunately sibley who had worked out an arrangement where he would receive about $5 per tent made joined confederate states' army, so he never recovered any money from the manufacture of the tents made off his patent. so, we're excited about this object going on display. receiving some conservation treatment, and then maybe before it returns to shiloh, we might be able to work up a plan of getting it displayed here, but we're going to have to have a exhibit overhaul to be able to do anything with it here. this is probably the most unique item, bar none, considering that there's only one like it in the western hemisphere. the other one of all places is in copenhagen, denmark. and then the wall tent. you count the wall tent and the sibley, the park within its collection holds about half the
total tentage of the civil war that remains on the earth. it's amazing. this is the second tent that we received. it's the wall tent. a standard wall tent. you see where it's been patched. some of the patches are probably associated with the use the family made of these tents through the years. there are also minor tears in these tents from them being used. you see here these all require some sort of patching up if there is ever a design to put this one on display as well. but i understand they continued to use these tents through the years, to get them out during the summer time and have sleepovers and have camp-outs and